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Barbie (1991 video game) facts for kids

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Barbie NES box art.jpg
NES box art
Developer(s) Imagineering
Publisher(s) Hi Tech Expressions
Producer(s) Dan Feinstein
Designer(s) Alex DeMeo
Barry Marx
Programmer(s) Henry C. Will IV
Chung S. Lau
Mark Morris (additional)
Artist(s) Frank Lam
Jesse Kapili (additional)
Jogene Kapell (additional)
Mike Sullivan (additional)
Composer(s) Mark Van Hecke, Ken Kirschner, Billy Pidgeon, Danny Ray
Series Barbie
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System, MS-DOS
Release date(s)
  • December 1991 EU
Genre(s) Platform
Mode(s) Single-player

Barbie is a multi-platform video game developed by Imagineering for Hi Tech Expressions. It is based on Mattel Inc.'s doll of the same name and was created in an attempt to get more girls to play video games. As such, it is one of the few explicitly girl-oriented NES games. The game takes place in a dream where Barbie must travel through three different worlds (Mall, Underwater and Soda Shop) to gather accessories before attending a ball to meet Ken. Despite it having been of little interest to typical gamers at the time of its release, critics including staff writers for Velikij Drakon and Allgame have praised it as "not bad" for a generic platformer. Others including Justine Cassell and Nathanael Ng of the Georgia Institute of Technology have advanced the view that its genre is not appropriate for its content.


Barbie dreams that she has been invited to the Fantasy Ball, but in her dream she has nothing nice to wear. She travels to three different worlds to gather accessories for the big night and a chance with Ken. Along the way she meets a veritable menagerie of animal friends and searches to find Dream-Ups, Glamor Items, and Charms for her bracelet that will help her along her way.

In Mall World, Barbie goes on a shopping spree for Barbie coins that she uses at the wishing fountain to acquire an exquisite pink ball gown. In Underwater World, Mermaid Barbie and a few helpful dolphins search for pearls that Barbie returns to a giant oyster in exchange for an elegant pearl ring. Finally, in the 1950s-style Soda Shop Barbie must collect gold records that she uses to make a stairway into the sky to collect the last accessory, a charming pair of sparkly high heels. Barbie returns to the Barbie Dream House to get ready for the Fantasy Ball, and as she descends the stairs wearing all of her accessories, a dapper Ken awaits to dance with her.


Unlike other Barbie games, Barbie is designed as a platformer. Barbie's levels are "dreams" and each "dream" has Barbie walking left to right while avoiding obstacles to keep her "Zs" from dropping which would make her wake up and have to replay the level, or sometimes restart the entire game. Barbie can also request help from animals by selecting one of the charms on her charm bracelet to signal what sort of action the animal should perform. Pressing the B-button then throws the command. If the command reaches the animal, the animal will perform the command requested. Enemies are all normally inanimate objects like tennis rackets, kites, shoes, pizza, water, popcorn, etc. that Barbie must evade by leaping over them. At the end of each section a boss battle occurs with the boss usually being overcome with the help of an animal.

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